“You were at ITT this morning,” says Ethan Garvin (Will Connolly). “John Reilly, Homicide,” replies Reese (Jim Caviezel). “Took you long enough,” answers back Garvin, an analyst who works for the NYPD’s Real Time Crime Center and whose number has come up with the Machine in CBS’ crime thriller series, Person of Interest.
After getting his number, Reese tails Garvin who heads to a Columbia University apartment building where, after trying to talk to a neighbor who quickly blows him off, he breaks into the apartment of Krupa Nalk, a student studying to be a doctor. He fires two shots into the fireplace which gets Reese to act, entering the apartment and telling Garvin to drop the gun. Garvin explains to Reese that several nights ago the program he uses at work called ShotSeeker registered shots fired in the apartment but was determined as a false alarm. Garvin went over the sound and discovered that it was indeed gunshots and Krupa has been missing ever since, so Garvin took it upon himself to investigate.
Meanwhile, Fusco (Kevin Chapman) is watching his son play street hockey when he’s approached by Elias’ childhood friend and business associate Bruce Moran (James Le Gros) who wants to who killed Elias. Fusco tries to brush the guy off but Bruce makes a round-about threat about Lionel’s son and Fusco threatens Bruce back. Bruce realizes Fusco doesn’t have the answers he’s looking for and tells him that he’ll look up his partner Reilly (aka Reese).
Once at the police station Fusco tells Reese about Bruce’s visit and Reese volunteers to handle it, telling him to go with Garvin to talk to Ben Haas, the boss of a nonprofit who reported Krupa missing. While being questioned Haas tells Fusco and Garvin that Krupa had developed a program which could possibility solve world hunger. On the night she went missing some unknown person hacked into her file but his tech guy hasn’t been able to trace the hack. Haas tells Fusco he suspects that JD Carrick, a formidable CEO who was very interested in Krupa’s project, might be behind the hack and her disappearance.
As Fusco and Garvin leave the nonprofit, the ShotSeeker program registers shots fired and gives the description of the shooter that fits Garvin to a T. The NYPD quickly pulls up and Fusco puts himself in front of Garvin, telling the officers it’s a mistake and showing them his badge.
Reese takes out three of Bruce’s men so that he’s now in a one-on-one with Bruce. He tells him he’s sorry for his loss but it’s not safe for him to come out of the shadows. If he continues his search for Elias’ killer, it will lead to his demise. Bruce is adamant and tells Reese he won’t stop looking. Reese tells him it’s a mistake and if he ever threatens Fusco or his son again, Reese will end him himself.
Back at the station, the neighbor who blew off Garvin earlier calls and wants to meet because she’s ready to tell what she knows. When Reese and Garvin get to her apartment, they discover she’s been shot. Reese chases the gunman who’s still there and takes a few shots at Garvin but misses. The police show up with Fusco who looks after Garvin again. Reese is talking to Finch (Michael Emerson) about what’s going on and it’s Finch who realizes it’s really Samaritan behind the cover-up of what happened to Krupa. The gunman escapes in a van and Reese is attacked and kidnapped by some of Bruce’s thugs, but Finch overhears their communication device.
Finch and Root (Amy Acker) wrongfully assume that Samaritan has taken John, and to make matters worse the Machine can’t track Reese. This upsets Root who’s determined not to lose another team member the way they lost Shaw. Fusco realizes his partner is in trouble and is fed up with being kept in the dark about the ‘real’ story of what’s going on with his friends. He decides to get all his fellow cops involved in the search for Reese, which might lead to him becoming a target for Samaritan.
Root goes to the apartment of the now-deceased neighbor and finds a hard drive full of Krupa’s work. Root is also met by Blackwell, an operative of Samaritan’s who’s also looking for the drive. Root questions Blackwell about Reese’s whereabouts but it becomes clear he knows nothing. She tells him he has no idea who he’s working for and wins the gun stand-off by leaving in order to avoid the police who’ve just pulled up.
After exploring the hard drive, Finch and Root discover that Samaritan tried to frame Carrick for Krupa’s disappearance at around the same time that Fusco is realizing that although the CEO is a creep and may be corrupt, he is not responsible for the young college student’s disappearance. Samaritan does send one more thug to kill Garvin but Fusco gets the upper-hand on him and takes him down. To save Garvin Finch and Root decide to release Krupa’s research on the internet so that way Samaritan will not see Garvin as a possible threat.
Meanwhile, Reese is sitting with Bruce Moran and tells him again that he’s making a mistake in searching for the truth about Elias’ killer. Moran, however, will not be stopped and wants the truth. Reese finally agrees to reveal the truth, but only if Bruce sends his goons away. Moran doesn’t agree so Reese knocks the men out and calls Finch. Harold is very relieved to hear from John and to learn that he’s okay. Reese tells Finch about Moran and Finch agrees to bring him into the loop of what is really going on.
Reese takes Bruce to a safe house and there he finds a very much alive and recuperating Elias (Enrico Colantoni). It turns out that Fusco actually saved Elias the night he was shot. Elias asks Bruce to go back into the shadows for his own safety, but Bruce doesn’t want to lose what he and Elias have built so he plans on taking his chances and returning to the criminal underworld.
During the episode Finch had created a small version of both the Machine and Samaritan to do an AI vs AI experiment that went badly as the mini controlled Samaritan won each time. Root suggests that Harold give the Machine the defensives and actions in her program to fight back, but Harold is resistant fearing the Machine might become too aggressive.
Person of Interest season 5 episode 5 review:
Suspenseful and action-packed, episode five of season five titled “ShotSeeker” brings to the spotlight the Machine’s deadliest enemy, Samaritan, and shows how much stronger and deadlier Samaritan is than Finch’s machine. The stand-out performance in this episode goes to Kevin Chapman as Fusco who shows his dedication and the true friendship he feels with Reese when he gets word that his partner has been taken hostage. Chapman shows how Fusco, who was once a dirty cop when the show began, has become one of the best NYC detectives and a trustworthy partner.
With Samaritan being so much more powerful and deadlier than the Machine, here’s hoping Finch follows Root’s advice and arms the Machine with the intel and code it will need to defeat its mortal enemy.